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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news.

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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional  
   reporting and online resources update international news.  

    July 21, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

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accelerants left inside. the suspect, 24-year-old james holmes, will be spending tonight in a county jail in suburban denver. he's scheduled to appear in court monday morning. a couple of hours ago, police disclosed holmes received what they call a, quote, high volume of deliveries in recent months. they think that's how he amassed the huge amount of ammunition for his attacks. cnn's ed lavendera is just outside the holmes' apartment complex in aurora. and what are the police and the bomb squads doing right now? >> reporter: well, wolf, it's been a very active last few hours here in this neighborhood. that red brick building you see behind me just to the left of that white truck, that is the building where 24-year-old james holmes lived. and that was where the apartment was that was trapped. they've spent a great deal of time. you heard that explosion. that was deliberately set off by the bomb squad here to begin to try to begin the process of dismantling the trip wires and what they call a very
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sophisticated setup inside that apartment that could have been very deadly. because of that, authorities now say that they feel that the major threats that were inside that apartment have been diffused, and it's not totally safe yet, but they can begin the process of removing all of the explosive materials that were inside holmes' apartment and they're beginning to take that out. but what's been clear to them, there's been a great and deliberate process by josh holmes to buy all of this material, get all of this material ready, and thoroughly plan out this attack. the police chief in aurora talked about that just a short time ago. >> we've become aware that our suspect over the last four months had a high volume of deliveries, commercial deliveries, of packages to both his work and home address. we think this begins to explain how he got his hands on all the magazines and the ammunition
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yesterday, that we talked about yesterday. we also think it begins to explain some of the materials he had in his -- in his apartment. >> reporter: my apologies, james holmes. i misspoke there. obviously, that is the suspect they're talking about. and one of the things that authorities here are talking about is that just the amount of material that he was able to order in the months leading up to this attack, including some 6,000 rounds of ammunition. and the scene that authorities have been describing, what they have found here in this apartment was very sophisticated. think about this. it's taken them more than 24 hours to get a handle on this, to be able to get into that apartment. in fact, wolf, there was a trip wire that was set along the door, and they say that had anyone unsuspectedly just opened up that door, it could have seriously injured someone if not killed them. and because of that, the authorities here not holding back their anger.
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extremely angry at the situation they found there inside that apartment. >> we talk about motive, we talk about defenses, we talk about deliberation. make no mistake, okay? this apartment was designed, i say, based on everything i've seen, to kill whoever entered it. okay? and who was most likely to enter that location after he planned and executed this horrific crime? it was going to be a police officer, okay? so make no mistake about it, what was going on there. and if you think we're angry, we sure as hell are angry, about what has happened to our city, what has happened to the wonderful people who live here, and also what he threatened to do to one of our police officers. >> reporter: wolf, that's the latest from james holmes' apartment area, where the situation has improved dramatically, but authorities say they will remain here for several more hours as they clean up that apartment and begin the search for more evidence. wolf? >> all those 6,000 rounds of ammunition, sophisticated guns, are police saying where this
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unemployed guy who just dropped out of a graduate school program at the university of colorado, where he was getting all this money? >> reporter: how he was paying for this isn't clear. it's a good yes. we're working on trying to figure out how he could have done that. there's, obviously, as you mentioned wolf, a great deal of money went into this. guns purchased at several area stories here in the denver area, plus all of the equipment that was bought online over the last few months. somehow, all of that had to have been paid for. and obviously, that is something authorities will take a closer look at as well. >> and the police are still not offering a motive, an alleged motive in this case, but we'll stand by. they haven't released a mug shot either, have they, yet? >> reporter: no, they haven't. that's interesting. and you know, obviously, i think perhaps authorities are sensitive to, you know, what that will look like. there's been a lot of talk that he, and reports that he did this, you know, he had his hair died red and he called himself the joker, you know, perhaps in the early stages of this, authorities have said that they're holding on to that for
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investigative reasons, and that's the reason they haven't released that. but you can imagine that for the victims of the shooting, seeing that mug shot and if this guy has, you know, red hair, that that will be very difficult for the victims and the victims' families to have to look at. >> and anyone who has any of the batman films, they know the joker is the villain. ed, stand by. james holmes' neighbors have spent the last 36 hours living in fear, evacuated from their homes and wondering who might happen next. our own poppy harlow and on the scene and she'll have their story in just a few minutes. we're also beginning to put faces with the names of some of those 12 who lost their lives in this unthinkable tragedy. alex sullivan was killed on his 27th birthday. his last tweet, "one hour to the movie and it's going to be the best birthday ever." micayla medek, her cousin says it took law enforcement 19 agonizing hours to notify them of her death. matt mcquinn, he died trying to
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shield his girlfriend, who survived. a.j. boik, he was with his girlfriend and another friend in the theater. according to the "denver post," 32-year-old rebecca wingo. her father says on facebook, and i'm quoting, rest in peace, my baby. jessica ghawi, an aspiring sports report, who just weeks ago narrowly avoided another mass shooting in toronto. also, two u.s. service members died. john thomas larimer, who had been serving his first post in the u.s. navy. and air force staff sergeant jesse childress, a reservist on active duty. and moments ago, we also learned about 24-year-old alex teves who just completed graduate school in june. our hearts go out to all of their families, indeed, to all of the victims' family and friends. along with the heartbreak over those who died, there are also extraordinary stories of
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survival emerging from this disaster. heroes who risked their lives to save others. >> josh helped me protect my wife and he got shot. >> josh nolan is one of those heroes, and cnn's kyung lah is joining us now from aurora with more on him. >> reporter: we spoke to him in his hospital room where he's still recovering from a bullet that wednesday through his arm and ended up breaking his leg. it's really quite extraordinary, the story he has to tell. 31-year-old josh nolan, a navy veteran and someone who's been deployed to iraq twice. when the bullets started flying, he left on top of his friends, shielding them from the bullets, and he says the only reason that he's alive, that his friends are alive, is because the gunman could not fire off every round. here's what he said. >> it was just a straight line shot. picking everybody up, from one aisle to the next. that's all he needed to do.
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>> do you think if that gun had not jammed, that you'd be here? >> i know i wouldn't be here. if that gun -- if that gun did not jam, i am fully certain that i probably would not be here. >> how are you feeling today? >> scared. you know, of course i'm glad it's over with and yes, i am glad i am alive, and i get to the see my kids, but then i also think about, you know, the other people that didn't -- that were not as lucky as i was. i mean, there was kids, mothers and fathers that was there. and they're dead. i'm still alive. i want to go back to that either, i want to go paback int that auditorium, look down that same seat and say, i beat you. you did not take this life. and, you know, i know the hopes
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and prayers and thoughts to all the other families that are suffering right now, it's just really hard to imagine. >> reporter: and the reason why mr. nowlan decided to speak with us today is because he wants people who are watching, people who are watching cnn to not focus so much on the gunman, but to remember all the people inside that theater and the extraordinary stories of survival, wolf. >> that's an amazing story, indeed. our hearts go out to all of these families and all of these survivors, obviously. the heroes and everyone else. kyung lah on the scene, thank you. >> the police said they're wrapping up their investigative work on the scene, and next, sorting through hundreds of personal items left by terrified moviegoers who ran out as quickly as they could. police will return wallets, purses, shoes to their owners or their families. they're hoping to hand the theater over to defense attorneys on tuesday and then on wednesday, let the theater
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owners back in once again. as for the suspect, james holmes, our teams are digging into his background. we're uncovering new details on what he did one summer, which may make some parents nervous. also, helping a community recover. we're talking live with aurora's congressman about the difficult days ahead. ♪
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you know, we could have a whole conversation about that. is it the killer? is it our society? i mean, somewhere this kid didn't get loved, didn't get administration. he's been a sick kid for a long, long time. you know, anybody who has to go get attention in a manner like this, you know, what -- how did he slip through the cracks? >> those are certainly important questions about the aurora, colorado, gunman, raised by a relative of one of the people he wounded. with us to start the conversation here in "the situation room" is u.s. congressman, the u.s. congressman whose district includes the movie theater where
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the shooting took place, democratic representative, ed perlmutter. congressman, thanks very much for coming in. can you share anymore details, if at all, about a possible motive that this shooter may have had in going into that movie theater? >> i don't know of anything, other than what the police chief talked about an hour ago. just, you know, describing how elaborate he had booby trapped his apartment. some of the steps that he took in, you know, placing all of his weapons outside, going in and getting them, and just starting to mow people down. and what makes somebody want to do that, wolf, is anybody's guess. and you know, you just had an earlier clip about the victims and some of the heroics and bravery that we saw, even against a gunman with that type of weaponry, you know, wearing all that kevlar and bulletproof stuff. you know, aurorans and
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coloradans are generally a pretty tough breed and this hurts, there's no doubt about it. the victims in this tragedy, there's going to be a lot of healing, but we'll get through this, and it's already started. >> as far as we've heard, he was the one who alerted police that that apartment had, in fact, been booby trapped. as far as you know, is he cooperating with law enforcement right now? >> from what we've heard, one, he did alert them to the booby traps, and, you know, who knows why he booby trapped it and then alerted them. so there's no telling what's going on in this guy's mind, but he has been moved to the arapahoe county jail. and apparently he has a lawyer in place. he has, you know, to the degree he's sharing other things with law enforcement, they've been unwilling to let anybody else in on it. >> as far as the money is concerned, because he bought a lot of, what, 6,000 rounds of ammunition, sophisticated
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weapons. he had explosive devices in there. as far as i know, he was unemployed, 24 years old, had just dropped out of graduate school at the university of colorado in denver. do you have any idea, does anyone yet know where that money was coming from? >> well, we're seeing now many packages came to his apartment. obviously, he bought the assault rifle was expensive, the shotgun was expensive, the glocks were expensive, the 6,000 rounds of ammunition that he bought over the internet, obviously, cost a lot of money. and then the chemicals that apparently are all over his apartment all had to cost a lot. and packages, apparently, were coming into his apartment for the last couple three months. exactly where he got the money -- he was a graduate student at the university of colorado health sciences center. that's going to be part of the detective work and the investigation that goes forward. >> you're a lawmaker, obviously,
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in washington. what's the most immediate lesson you think washington, the fro federal government, should learn, should take away from what happened at that movie theater in aurora, as far as gun control in america is concerned. >> i'm going to start with a different lesson, and it's a lesson that we learned that started learning 13 years ago when we had columbine. which is, a joint response of different agencies from the firefighters to the police officers to the bomb squad, so the first responders, we had tremendous response, federal side and state side, all the communities working together, everybody on the same page. and that saved lives. so that is a lesson that was learned and was put into place. and in a terrible situation like we faced last night, it was put to good use, and i know it saved lives. now, with respect to the gun control question you asked, a second ago, you know, for me,
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the assault weapons ban should never have lapsed. i mean, i think we should have -- that should be in place. and i think we've got to take a good look at how he was able to acquire so much ammunition over the internet without any real question. >> no red flags, apparently went up, and nobody was investigating. these are important questions, we'll continue to investigate, i'm sure. local, state, federal authorities are already way deep into these investigations as well. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. and our deepest, deepest condolences to your constituents in aurora, colorado. appreciate it. >> thanks, wolf. and i just ask you guys to hold all of aurorans and especially the families that were directly impacted in your thoughts and prayers and your station has been great in focusing on the bravery of the first responders and the mourning and grief we must go through for the victims.
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>> couldn't agree more. thank you, congressman. appreciate it. here's a quick programming note, by the way. tomorrow morning, candy crowley will interview the colorado governor, john hickenlooper, that's on "state of the union," 9:00 a.m. eastern, right here on cnn. up next here in "the situation room," living next to an accused mass murderer. >> i never imagined something like this. i mean, who does? >> do you have any idea where you're going ? wherever the wind takes me. this is so off course. nature can surprise you sometimes... next time, you drive. next time, signal your turn. ...that's why we got a subaru. love wherever the road takes you. this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge.
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right now police are still on the scene of the booby trapped apartment of the accused mass murderer, james holmes. police say it was, quote, designed to kill, so imagine how terrifying it must be for the neighbors who were living close by. cnn's poppy harlow is on the
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scene for us. she caught up with some of those neighbors forced of their homes for their own protection. they're still out of their homes right now, might be for a while. poppy, what's going on? >> reporter: well, wolf, we've been here since about 3:00 in the morning, local time, and the bomb squad started to arrive, again, very early here today. the fbi, atf, local police and fire officials, chemists from across the country. their one mission, jointly, was to disarm this booby trapped apartment of suspected shooter james holmes. but because of all of the activity, all of the present danger, people in that building, surrounding that building, were forced to leave. >> it's still frightening, because we don't know when we can go home. they said it could be tonight, it couldn't be another couple of days. >> reporter: forced to evacuate, following friday's horrific mass movie theater shooting, paul mcqueen is shaken, his children, terrified. their apartment building right
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next to the suspected shooter's. for those who live here, forced to leave their home, it has been a day full of angst and questions. >> first and foremost is, we need to render the area safe. the most immediate threat is the trip wire. >> reporter: two hours later, progress. >> we have been successful in defeating the first threat, which includes defeating the trip wire and the first incendiary device. >> reporter: but also, this. >> this trip wire was set up to clearly detonate when someone entered that apartment, and it was set up to kill that person. >> reporter: caitlin fonzi says she lives in the apartment below the suspected shooter. she heard loud techno music coming from his apartment friday, went upstairs to confront him, found the door unlocked, but decided not the to enter. >> just hearing the latest news that that device was designed to kill whoever entered that apartment, that's a lot to
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swallow right now. >> reporter: a little before noon saturday, firemen shout, "fire in the hole!" and then this. [ explosion ] >> we have been successful in detonating the second triggering device. we are confident that we have eliminated all major threats at this point. however, there are many hazards that remain inside this apartment. >> reporter: and much unease for the evacuated families. >> what has this been like for you as a mother? >> it's been really horrible. like, it's terrifying, because i'm a mother of four children and just knowing what happened in the theater to the loved ones -- >> and he lived right next to us. >> come to find out he lived right next to us, it's kind of hard. what if he would have just come out and he happened to just start shooting the kids. >> i don't know if they were going to be, like, okay. if that place was going to blow up while i was at work or you
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know what. it was just really scary. >> reporter: unbelievably scary, wolf. i can't imagine being a parent, and living there with your children in that building. those two mothers you heard from and the father, mr. mcqueen, we talked to them at a local red cross shelter just a few blocks from here. i do have some good news. i just got off the phone with sergeant tim holt of aurora pd. he told me right behind me here at the apartment building, they're wrappi inping up. they're going to do a secondary search and if they don't find anything else that concerns them, they're going to let in the four evacuated apartment buildings, but for all that live in the suspected shooter's apartment building, they will not be allowed in for at least a few days, because they have to do a secondary search, wolf, and then they have to gather as much evidence as possible for what is going to be an intense and very thorough investigation, wolf. >> yeah, they should put those
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people up in a nice hotel instead of just making them wait some place else. make sure they are well taken care of. i think the community can take care of that. thanks, poppy. thanks for all that good work. we're also learning more details about the suspect, including his time in california. and what he was possibly doing on a sex website. hey america, even though they don't need one, wes, clay and demarcus tried on the new depend real fit briefs for charity to prove how great the fit is even while playing pro football. the best protection now looks, fits and feels just like underwear. get a free sample and
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in "the situation room," a 6-year-old, a 6-year-old girl, is among the dead in the horrific shooting at the theater in aurora, colorado. her name, veronica moser sullivan. just a few hours ago, authorities put a robot into the apartment of james holmes. it set off an explosion that disabled the main triggering device for the many bombs and fire accelerants inside. [ explosion n. >> the threat has not been completely eliminated. it has been significantly reduced. we still have bomb technicians and evidence response recovery folks that literally have to go in there and handle unknown substances with potentially explosive or incendiary outcomes. >> a memorial prayer vigil for
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the victims of the theater shooting is scheduled for tomorrow night. the suspect, 24-year-old james holmes, will be spending the weekend in a county jail in suburban denver. he's scheduled to appear in court monday morning. before holmes moved to colorado, he lived in california, where he briefly worked at a children's camp. cnn's dan simon is in california and has been talking to some people who knew him. what are you learning, dan? >> reporter: well, wolf, we've been focusing on the southern california connection, because this is where holmes grew up. this is where he went to school. and seeing his picture has brought back memories for many people. the face seemed familiar. then he remembered. david casper owns a san diego pawnshop and recalls holmes looking at some guns a few months ago. >> to find out that he used firearms in the commission of his crime and that he had been in here looking at firearms is
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kind of a little bit unsettling. >> a few miles away in the middle class neighborhood where holmes grew up, a portrait se merging. not of someone who was violent or had an intense interest in weapons, but a quiet, intelle intellectually astute young man. >> obviously, he had the intellectual capacity to be successful at anything he wanted to do. >> reporter: out of the 21,000 students at the university of california riverside, holmes was among the very brightest, according to the school's chancellor. admitted on an academic scholarship, he graduated in 2010, with a degree in neuroscience, considered one of the most challenging scientific curricula. >> it's one of our most rigorous majors and it leads to careers in medicine, in science, in research, in a whole host of allied health areas. >> reporter: holmes appeared to come from a stable family. his father, seen here, understandably distressed, is a manager at a software company. his mother, a nurse. >> it's very, very sad day.
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they're, you know, they're working with and communicating with authorities and that's all we can say. >> reporter: julie adams is among those who gathered near the family's house. her son played on the same high school soccer team as holmes. >> it's a quiet neighborhood. it's a neighborhood that people move to because the poway unified school district is probably one of the top school districts in the nation, and that's why people move to this community. >> reporter: at this point, we haven't discovered anything in his upbringing that points to a troubled individual. holmes spent one of his college summers here, working as a camp counselor to underprivileged children. he was responsible for the care and guidance of approximately ten kids. we're told there were no incidents and nothing happened out of the ordinary during his time here. few answers for those looking to understand how this academically gifted young man could now be accused of being a violent killer. and whoever becomes holmes' defense lawyer will likely be doing the same things we're doing, looking into his background, his education, looking at his health, his
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mental health, for instance, to try to understand what motivated him, and mount some kind of defense, wolf, whatever that might be. >> "whatever that might be," key words. thanks very much, dan simon, for that report. police believe that james holmes recently posted a picture of himself on a sex website. while we're not entirely sure this man with the fiery red hair is james holmes, cnn's susan candiotti has been working on the story. she's joining us now. she's got some more details. what are you learning about this picture and other details, susan? there's susan. do you want to start again, susan. we missed the top of you. >> sure. i was just going to say, as investigators are wading through social media and the internet, looking through possible clues, they've become aware of a website that might have a connection. it's called adultfriendfinder, a risque dating website that includes a profile and a photo of a red-haired man, apparently
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set up by a man who listed his name as james holmes. it appears to have been set up a few weeks ago. now, it is not confirmed whether this is the alleged shooter. it includes the headline, "i'll see you in prison." a law enforcement source says they'd love to get their hands on holmes' computer to establish whether the ip address used to reach the website matches the one holmes may have used. they need more than a picture that may just look like holmes. so as far as we know, his computer, if he has one, has not been recovered. if he left it in his apartment, well, as we know, police can't get to it because of all the explosives they're now trying to diffuse. retired fbi assistant director tom fuentes says the computer could be very valuable. >> the cyberforensic experts can examine the computer and see who he was in contact, which websites he went to, what he may have been able to download, as far as to learn how to create these devices, and/or any other
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websites, such as this, which might help to identify him. >> now, again for now, no way to confirm if this is the suspect, and if it is him, what it all means. >> susan will continue working her sources. thank you, susan candiotti. so we're beginning to get a little bit of a picture of james holmes, but there are lots and lots of unanswered questions and there's legal questions involved as well. for example, how you defend him in a court of law? we're asking two of the nation's top legal minds, as our special coverage here in "the situation room" continues. is wearing is wearing the new depend silhouette briefs for charity to prove how great the fit is even under a fantastic dress. the best protection now looks, fits and feels just like underwear. we invite you to get a free sample and try one on too. last season was the gulf's best tourism season in years. in florida we had more suntans... in alabama we had more beautiful blooms... in mississippi we had more good times... in louisiana we had more fun on the water. last season we broke all kinds of records on the gulf.
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the accused colorado gunman, james holmes, is scheduled to appear in court monday morning. joining us now the to talk about
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what we might expect and how his defense may be argued, cnn legal contributor, the former prosecutor, paul callan. also, the criminal defense attorney tom mesereau. tom, how do you defend a guy like this, that the evidence seems to be so powerful, so many eyewitnesss? >> well, in my opinion, you do not try to acquit him of a shooting. what you try to do is save him from execution. and that's going to be a daunting task. right now he's the most hated man in america. you have to focus on his mental health or his lack thereof. he has to be examined bay battery of psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors. you have to go into his entire background, from the time he was born, every medical record, every education record, and you have to paint a portrait of a man who is completely draerange completely insane, not dealing with reality, and not capable of controlling his actions. >> and so paul, if you're the prosecutor in a case like this, how do you avoid exactly what tom just said? how do you get him convicted on
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murder charges? >> well, believe it or not, even someone who has committed a horrific crime like this, where people say, he would have to be mentally ill to have done this, it's still difficult to prove the insanity defense. you have to prove, basically, that you didn't understand the difference between right and wrong and you had no ability to control your actions. obviously, there was an enormous amount of planning that went into these homicides. he accumulated large amounts of weapons, ammunitions, sophisticated booby traps. all of this would suggest someone who knew the difference between right and wrong, who was able to plan, and by the way, statistically, last year in colorado, only 1 out of 35,000 cases succeeded with the insanity defense. >> so how do you go ahead, tom, with an insanity defense, if you will? >> well, you still have to. this person, apparently, from everything i've heard, dressed like the joker, thought he was the joker, thought he was part of this film, or something like that. you have to show that just
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because he's intelligent, doesn't mean he's not insane. you may remember the famous unabomber, who was an honors graduate of harvard, taught mathematics at harvard and at the university of california berkeley, and he was completely insane. he was mailing bombs to random people and living in a little hut in the forest. this is a very difficult task. this is such a despised individual at this point, but the the colorado public defenders have excellent lawyers who specialize in defending death penalty cases, and i think they'll do an excellent job and the best they can in this particular case. >> listen, paul, to what the fbi special agent who's in charge out on the scene said earlier in the day. listen to this clip. >> i want to reiterate what the chief said yesterday. this case will be tried inside a court, okay? so i have to be very careful with my responses. i do not want to jeopardize a future prosecution. >> here's the question. do they have to move the venue, or can he get a fair trial in
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aurora or denver or in that area? >> well, i most certainly think a change of venue to another part of the state would be the least, probably, that would happen, if it goes forward. because, of course, in this case, right at the very beginning, wolf, will this guy even be competent to stand trial? a lot of times, if tom is right, and he's suffering from this level of mental illness, he may not be even competent enough to enter a courtroom and understanding the proceedings, in which case he'll simply be sent to a mental hospital. so the decision as to which county he's going to be tried in is something we're going to be facing much farther down the line. >> what do you expect we'll see in the courtroom on monday, tom? if you were, for example, his attorney, what would you do? >> i wouldn't let him utter a word. i would try and continue the arraignment, and i would ask that he be evaluated. i'd ask that the proper mental health professionals be appointed and that he be examined right away, and if i were his lawyer, he would not utter one syllable. >> tom mesereau and paul callan,
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thanks for coming. i'm sure we'll continue our conversation here in "the situation room." this legal process involving this case is obviously only beginning. we're also continuing to get more stories of survival, including a man shot in the neck and lived to tell about it. >> just a few millimeters in or centimeters in, and i don't think i would have left the theater. it's no wonder i'm getting gray. but kate still looks like...kate. [ female announcer ] with nice'n easy, all they see is you -- in one step, nice'n easy with colorblend technology, is proven to give more blends of tones. for color that's perfectly true to you. [ rob ] i don't know all her secrets but i do know kate's more beautiful now, than the day i married her. [ female announcer ] with the dimensional color of nice'n easy, all they see is you. [ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums
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dozens of people are still hospitalized. stephen barton was shot through the neck and survived. nelson garcia of kusa has the story. >> i thought the would was
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somewhere around here, and just a few millimeters in or centimeters in and i don't think i would have left the theater. >> reporter: he was just passing through on a cross country bike ride from connecticut. now he finds himself sitting in the medical center of aurora, shot through the neck. he didn't even realize what happened at first. >> my memory is only of the muzzle, like the flash. and that's probably part of the reason i thought it was fireworks, because i didn't even see a figure behind the gun. >> reporter: barton thought the whole thing was surreal. >> it was like i was looking at my hand or arm and for a time i thought it had been blown off because i couldn't feel it at all. so i was relieved to see it still attached to my body. >> he's truly a remarkable young man. he came in with some critical injuries. he was the victim of shotgun wounds. >> the first thing i did was
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touch his head and give him a kiss. >> reporter: and barton wonders why this all happened. >> in some sense, you know, i'm sorry that he had to, you know, cope with whatever was going on in his life by doing this. >> reporter: now he'll be staying in colorado a little longer than expected. >> that report from nelson garcia of our cnn affiliate kusa. i said 71 people had been shot. 70 is the new number. 70 people shot, 12 dead of those 70. don lemon is on the ground for us, working a cnn special report that will air later tonight on the movie theater shootings. don, first of all, give us a little flavor. you've been there on the ground for what, a day now. you've spoke on the a lot of people. what's going on? give us a little mood, because as sad as it is, i'm sure when that you're there in person, it's devastating. >> it is devastating, but i do have to say, wolf, that the
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community here has come together and people are being as positive as they can about this entire situation, including the victims and one of whom i spoke to earlier today, her name is christina black, 29 years old and she served in baghdad. she was a senior airman in the air force, served in baghdad. she was there for four months and i asked her about her experience on the war zone and her experience in that theater and listen to what she had to say. so you were in iraq? >> uh-huh. >> how many times? >> just once. >> one term in iraq. so you've been in a war zone. >> uh-huh, yeah. >> was this one of the worst things you've seen, was this worst than anything you saw? >> this was worse, because i had to watch like my friends and people we were just laughing and joking with five minutes prior, never saw it coming. they didn't sign up to be shot that night. if you're in the military, you signed up for it.
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whereas these people were going to a movie to enjoy themselves, to spend time whether it was their family, their friends. they didn't sign up to be shot. >> so she and ten of her friends went to that movie theater. one of her friends, alex sullivan wanted to go to the movie. sadly he died. among the 11 people she was with, 11 total, five were injured, one died. and we'll hear more from her on our special at 8:00. >> don, thank you very much. excellent work. together with the entire cnn team in aurora, don will have much more on this tragedy, a special program 8:00 p.m. eastern from aurora, colorado that will air here on cnn. up next in "the situation room," some of the most stirring images from the last 36 hours and a special look at the victims of this tragedy. dry mouth may start off as an irritant. it'll cause cavities, bad breath.
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here are some memorable images from aurora. look at these. a box of popcorn lies on the ground outside the century 16 theater. flowers, candles and a sign reading "aurora is strong for the victims of the shooting." investigators perched on the roof of james holmes' apartment building. and a group of young people gather outside the aurora theater to pray for dead and injured. all of this has been an amazing story. i just want to leave you with this one thought. of the 12 victims, their identities have now been known. the youngest, only 6 years old. the 12 who were killed, 6 years
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old the youngest, 51 the oldest. we leave you now with a look at the victims in this horrible, horrible case.
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good evening, everyone, coming to you live from aurora, colorado. you oar in the cnn newsroom tonight. lots to get to tonight. we're about to walk you through the horrific movie theater shooting, minute by minute, as a gunman opened fire. you'll see what he did before hand and how police found him immediately afterward. also right now, police here in aurora are still not talking about possible motives. what would make a young man suddenly commit so much violence against so many people? colorado police and the fbi have been all over james holmes' apartment today, slowly and carefully since the front door was rigged to trigger a bomb.
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we're going to live to the apartment building in just a couple of moments. let's go to breanna keeler. >> don, the worst drought in more than 50 years is crippling farmers in the midwest. half of the states in the region are reported to be in severe to exceptional drought. that's the region that produces about 75% of the nation's corn and soybean crop. the drought is especially hard on livestock. many ranchers having to sell off their herds early. with the focus on the colorado movie massacre, the relentless gun violence in chicago is going almost unnoticed. but in the past 24 hours, 21 people have been shot across the city. three died. police are blaming a gang fight for the latest killing. and in syria, rebels are making slow but steady progress against government forces. that's noticeable especially along the border with turkey. government troops appear t

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